Runaway Bride Indictment: You Can’t Lie To Police


“Runaway bride” Jennifer Wilbanks, 32, will be allowed to complete medical treatment before turning herself in to face charges linked to her fabricated tale of abduction, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. A Gwinnett County, Ga., grand jury indicted her yesterday on on one felony count of making false statements and one misdemeanor count of falsely reporting a crime. District Attorney Danny Porter said the indictment sent a message: “You just can’t lie to the police.”

Family and friends’ reaction ranged from silence tinged with anger to disappointment. Legal experts questioned whether the wide-eyed runaway should face prison time. Cases that parallel this one nationally have resulted in tough legal consequences. A Wisconsin college student who faked her abduction last year was sentenced to three years’ probation and ordered to pay police $9,000 for the search. In Montana in 2003, a 41-year-old businesswoman who faked her abduction was sentenced to eight months of house arrest, followed by a year of nightly curfew. Gainesville attorney Daniel Summer, said, “As a former prosecutor, I see both sides of this. You can’t allow people to falsely accuse people of a crime. The flip side is that she’s suffered enough.”


Comments are closed.